Whiplash, also called
neck sprain or neckstrain, is injury to the neck. Whiplash
is characterized by a collection ofsymptoms that occur following damage to
the neck. In whiplash, the intervertebral joints
(located between vertebrae), discs, and ligaments,cervical muscles, and nerve
roots may become damaged.
Whiplash is caused by
an abrupt jerking motionof the head, either backward or
forward, and often occurs as a result of a caraccident.
What Are the
Symptoms of whiplash
may be delayed for 24hours or more after the inital trauma.
However, people who experience whiplash may develop one or more of
the following symptoms, usually within the first fewdays after the
Neck pain and
Pain in the shoulder or
between the shoulder blades
Pain or numbness in the
arm and/or hand
Ringing in the ears or
concentrating or remembering
How is Whiplash
In most cases, injuries
are to soft tissuessuch as the disks, muscles and
ligaments, and cannot be seen on standardX-rays. Specialized imaging tests, such
as CT scans or magnetic resonanceimaging (MRI) may be required to
How is Whiplash
No single treatment has
been scientificallyproven as effective for whiplash, but
pain relieving medications such as Motrinor Aleve along with gentle exercises,
physical therapy traction, massage, heat,ice, injections and utrasound all have
been helpful for certain patients.
In the past, whiplash
injuries were oftentreated with immobilization in a
cervical collar. However, the current trend is to encourage early movement
instead of immobilization. Ice may be applied forthe first 24 hours,
followed by gentle active movement.